Jeffrey Weeks

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Jeffrey Weeks is currently Director of SPUR (Social Policy and Urban Regeneration Research Institute) based at London South Bank University. He works in a wide variety of subjects within the fields of sociology of gender, sexuality, social and political theory and methodologies. Born in Rhondda, Wales in 1945 Weeks was heavily involved in the activities of the emerging gay activist organizations that were set up in the UK in the 1970s, notably the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Gay Left Collective. These organizations provided a major focus for future challenges to heterosexist practices in the law, media and wider UK society.

Weeks drew extensively on his PhD to write Coming out: Homosexual Politics in Britain from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (1977). Although beginning his academic career as an economic historian, Weeks quickly moved into other disciplines such as sociology and gender studies. For example, his 1981 work, Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800 combined historical analyses about sexuality with critiques of Foucault. He has continued to produce a wealth of books and articles throughout the last thirty years. Both the content and theoretical emphasis of his work has been clearly informed by the dramatic shifts in gay and lesbian advances in the UK through the 1980s, 1990s and into the 21st century. For example, his recent individual and collaborative work drew on an extensive body of qualitative fieldwork interviews with gay and lesbian partners in the UK, published as Same Sex Intimacies: Families of Choice and other Life Experiments (2001) with Brian Heaphy and Catherine Donovan. His latest The World We Have Won: The remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life (2007) reflects on achievements in many areas (age of consent, adoption, and inheritance rights) after over thirty years of campaigning for gay and lesbian equality.

Whereas critics point to the overly optimistic tone in his most recent work, and an inattention to continuing material obstacles for gays and lesbians notably class, age and regional disparities, Weeks can lay claim to be one of the most influential global academic writers about gay and lesbian sexuality.

See link to his website at http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/ahs/staff/jeffreyweeks.shtml

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